Saturday, 9 May 2015

Beyond the Barricade | Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

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Beyond the Barricade is a national tour featuring four former principals from Les Miserables that has been going for almost 16 years. This was the second time I've seen the show (the first was early 2014 at the Town Hall Birmingham) so I was interested to see how the show had changed since then. All though it has been over a year since I saw it last, there were sections of the show that I definitely remember and that haven't changed but none the less I still enjoyed the show as a whole because each item still felt fresh. There were songs and medleys from all the big West End shows: Miss Saigon, Phantom, Wicked among others, but what really stood out to me was the four-part singing. There was a beautiful arrangement of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' from Carousel, as well as 'Tell Me It's Not True' from Blood Brothers. I also really enjoyed the 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' from Evita and West Side Story Quintet.

I would definitely classify this as more as a concert than a show as such- as you can see from the above picture, the layout is four mics (Andy Reiss sang, played keyboard and conducted) which restrict movement slightly and to begin with I did think that the show lacked a little atmosphere. However, as the audience began to relax, the singers got into the performance a bit more I felt and so it became a lot more enjoyable as it went on. All four voices were really strong and blended well together while they each had their own kind of style.

Overall I'd say this is a great one for musical lovers- although personally I would like to hear some more obscure musicals in there, it was still a very enjoyable show and something I think that appeals so such a wide audience (which I suppose is why it's still going 15 years on). A really fun evening out!


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